Friday, August 06, 2010

CSI: Natural Beauty Edition, Skin Whitening & Hyperpigmentation

Okay, so sorry this came so incredibly late!  Its just been a crazy past couple of days (obviously) and we're still having problems with the internet at work (despite 3 technicians coming out in the past couple of days).  But here it is.  I hope this is okay, because I feel like I could've been more informational, but I really wanted to get this out there.  If you do have any questions, let me know through comment or email!  On Tuesday will be Dry Skin!

Skin Darkening has a number of causes including heredity, skin disorders, sun damage/tanning, adrenal/liver/intestinal disorder, malnutrition, and vitamin deficiency.  There are definitely a number of different causes.   Hyperpigementation is another form of skin darkening.  Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is an excess production of melanin.  (Melanin is responsible for your skin color, so the more that you produce, the darker your skin is).  There is also Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, or PIH, which results in "scarring" from an inflammed wound (such as acne).  The difference between PIH and Hyperpigmentation is that PIH should eventually go away with time, although it may take awhile.

Typically, if you would like to whiten your skin, you could try over-the-counter creams (which could contain bleach!), or for more dramatic results, you could visit a doctor for stronger creams or to have procedures performed.  The most common cream on the market, for skin whitening, is Hydroquinone.  However, due to recent research, Hydroquinone may not be safe. 

Its important to note that skin whiteners only work once all the dead skin cells have flaked off.  You'll always have dead skin cells on your face, actually quite a thick layer, especially when compare to living skin cells.  About every 28 days, your skin is completely renewed, therefore, it will take at least 28 days to see the affects of skin whiteners.

Thankfully, there are a number of things in nature that have this lightening affect...

Ingredients that Promote White Skin
Glycolic Acid
It is an acid that is derived from Sugar Cane.  Also used for exfoliation and acne.
Kojic Acid
It is found in mushrooms, fermented rice wine, soy, and rice.  Its primary purpose in cosmetics is for skin whitening.  It is also antibacterial and an antioxidant.
Lactic Acid
It is found in milk. 
Emblica Powder
It is an herb, that also goes by the name of Amla.  It has the highest level of Vitamin C of any natural plant.  It is an antioxidant, and is also quite beneficial when used on hair. 
Lemon Juice Extract
Obviously comes from lemons.  It is high in Vitamin C and also acts as an astringent. 
Bearberry Extract
It is derived from the Uva Ursi Plant, and contains a natural form of hydroquinone. 
Mulberry Extract
It comes from the dried out skins of mulberrys. 
Vitamin B3
Also effective in treating acne.
Alpha Arbutin
Licrorice Extract
Also an anti-inflammatory.
Hyrdogen Peroxide
Is also a disinfectant, removes oil, and removes dirt. 
Vitamin E

The Recipes & Remedies
  • You could make a paste from dried orange peels & raw milk.  You would first let the orange peels dry out in the sun.  Once done, grind the peels and then add enough milk to make a paste.  Once its dry, rinse off.  You should use this everyday.
  • Rub a potato slice over your skin each night.  There are enzymes in the potato which have a bleaching effect.
  • Almonds also have bleaching effects due to their large content of vitamin E.  What you would want to do is soak a small handful of almonds (about 5?) in a bowl of water, overnight.  The next day, peel the almonds and then mash "meat" and add a little milk to create a paste.  Apply the paste to your skin and then rinse once the paste has dried.  You should do this twice a day.
  • Equal parts of milk powder, honey, lemon juice, and half of almond oil.  Apply to your skin and wash off after 10 minutes. 
  • 2 teaspoons gram flour, a pinch of tumeric, a couple drops lemon juice, and a couple drops milk cream.  Mix together to make a paste and apply to your skin.  Once dry, rinse off.
Preventing Dark Skin
  • Use Sunscreen, duh!

Sources:, Dark Skin Information
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: Hyperpigmentation
Beauty & Makeup Tips: Home Remedies for Skin Whitening Health Benefits of Almonds
Glycolic Acid
What is Kojic Acid?
Health Freedom Nutrition: Emblica Extract
All About Skin Lightening
eHow: Skin Discoloration Remedies


  1. hey, so now I'm curious...I don't have skin darkening....yet! My heritage just might bring this on. BUT no matter what I do or try or buy my cheeks on my face feel like sandpaper! I slather on cetaphil like 3 times a day. I have also used Lubriderm, Aquaphor, Eucerin.....any advice??

  2. You're forgetting a wonderfully powerful easy one - LEMON JUICE!!! Works wonders if you mix it in with witch hazel and use it as a toner!

  3. Thanks Meg! I knew I was forgetting one, I was in just such a rush to get this out!

  4. Genial fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.



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